The Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy is set to spend its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of N41.6 billion in the provision of broadband connectivity in higher institutions, airports and markets.
Speaking at a news briefing on Thursday in Abuja, the Minister, Prof. Isa Pantami stated that the N41.6billon was internally generated from Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
He said that the money would provide interventions in 113 tertiary institutions, airports and markets in three phases of the gesture.
Pantami said: “The total amount we have committed to spend is approximately N41.6billion.
“19 universities, one Federal College of Education, 20 markets and the second and third phases, we have provision for 20 airports, six additional markets and 49 higher institutions of learning.
“The whole money is from our internally generated revenue that we have decided to spend to other institutions and support without retaining any money from that amount.”
He said the Implementation level in some institutions wa between 72 per cent to 91 per cent in phase one, hence implementing phases two and three of the interventions in institutions, airports and markets.
Pantami said that he convinced both the NCC Board’s Chairman, Prof. Adeolu Akande and the Executive Vice-Chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta to spend the money on other sectors such as education and commerce.
He added: “I presented my argument to both of them and I was able to convince them and they agreed with me that this money is worth spending in other sectors.
“Instead of spending this money in our sector, it is better to sacrifice it on other sectors , particularly education, commerce and others within the country.
“We generated our revenue internally. What we can generate other sectors cannot be able to do that.
“It is important to realise that this is not just direct government intervention, but it is an intervention that we willingly sacrificed from our IGR.”
Pantami said that the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007, Section 21 clearly stated that from the operators of laws with regards to IGR, 20 per cent was retained from what was generated.
He stated that section 22 mentioned that 80 per cent of IGR was to be remitted to the consolidated revenue account for the federation.
Going by the policy in place, the minister assured that the communications sector would continue to prioritise interventions in other sectors.
“The more you grow higher it is no more about yourself. It is how you touch other people’s lives positively and that is the beauty.
“I received an update from the NCC with regards to the implementation of what we have done on November 24, 2022, based on the record.
“Generally, one can safely say that the first phase had been implemented.
“So, it is because of this that I felt it is the right time to commence phase two and phase three,” he stated
“We presented a council memo for the second and third phased and all of them had been approved by President Muhammadu Buhari, that is why we are here,” he said.